As a parent, you may not know how to navigate having difficult conversations with your child about serious topics such as drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse treatment in Minnesota can be a sensitive topic, but having these conversations when your child reaches an appopriate age can help build a trusting relationship between the two of you.

Drinking or using drugs is commonplace for many, but not everyone seeks treatment options when they need to. Here are some tips for navigating these tough conversations with your child and the long-term positive effects it can have on his or her life.

When Is the Right Time?

Alcohol and drug abuse starts earlier in some kids than you may expect. We encourage you to start having these conversations as early as you see fit. To put numbers into perspective, roughly 3,300 kids the age of 12 try marijuana on a daily basis according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They also state that five in 10 kids as young as age 12 attempt to obtain prescription medications for nonmedical purposes.

It doesn’t need to be a one-and-done approach. In fact, bringing up substance use disorders can help them make informed decisions and lessen their risk of needing addiction treatment in the future. How to stay away from drugs and alcohol may consist of multiple conversations that are ongoing. Establishing a trusting relationship with your son or daughter can help them feel more comfortable coming to you for guidance when making decisions.

What If You Avoid This Conversation?

You may be tempted to spend time talking about other topics with your child, ignoring these more sensitive topics. Doing so can have the opposite effect on your child. The lack of knowledge or information that your child has about drugs and alcohol may lead them to believe it’s okay to explore these avenues.

How Options Family & Behavior Services Can Help

Our treatment programs are designed to empower you and your family for the better, teaching them valuable skills to help them navigate the ups and downs that life has to offer. If you need assistance with drug addiction or mental health disorders, our team is happy to help.


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151 West Burnsville Parkway
Burnsville, MN 55337


2675 Long Lake Road, Suite 125
Roseville, MN 55113